You are browsing the archive for 2015 February 21.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Living on Borrowed Time: 6 Young Trans Women of Color Have Been Murdered in America This Year

February 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Terrell Jermaine Starr, AlterNet

Trans woman activist Elle Hearns declares, “You can't kill us all,” as major trans visibility march is planned this Sunday.


When Kristina Gomez Reinwald was found dead in her Miami home on February 15, she became the sixth trans woman of color to be murdered in 2015. The average age of the women who have been killed so far is 31 years old, according to an estimate based on news reports of the women’s ages.

LaSaia Wade, an African-American trans woman and activist, is just 27 years old. “I cry every time I hear about it,” Wade, who runs the nonprofit Trans Justice Project in Nashville, Tenn., told AlterNet. “It angers me every time I hear about it. I don’t know who I am going to talk to about it other than my sisters and brothers about the situations that are happening because society sees us as something that should not have been born.”

Two of her trans female friends, Alejandra Leos, a Latina, and Gizzy Fowler, an African American, were killed last year in her home state of Tennessee. Citing a widely quoted statistic, Wade said, “The average age of a trans woman is 35. If I live to be that old, I’m lucky.”  

Wade and other trans women activists who spoke with AlterNet say the recent murders reveal systemic failures at government and community levels that have pushed trans women—especially women of color—to the margins of society. Employment discrimination, the threat of transphobic violence and lack of government resources are all barriers that keep transgender women from living normal lives.

If a trans woman is assaulted, she is less likely to seek help from law enforcement. According to a 2014 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, trans women are six times more likely to experience violence from police compared to overall survivors.

Raffi Freedman-Guspan, a policy advisor for the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative at the National Center for Transgender Equality, says another problem with tracking the murders of transgender women is that not all of the killings may be linked to their …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

5 Insane Right-Wing Moments This Week: Giuliani Becomes Totally Unhinged

February 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

Someone please get Donald Trump's twin a pinwheel hat!


1. Rudy Giuliani: Obama doesn’t love me or America because he’s not like us.

There is one sure sign of America-hatred, and it is running for and winning the presidency twice. While black. Another sign of hating America is not being Rudy Giuliani, and not having had the specific experiences that he has had. Like marrying your cousin, avoiding the draft, dumping your wife on TV, race-baiting your way to the mayoralty, backing police brutality against minorities and acting somewhat more like a leader than George Bush on 9/11.

In what some see as his most desperate bid to remain relevant yet, the increasingly unhinged, totally self-deluded ex-Mayor continued his quest to become the new Donald Trump this week. He did this by saying some really stupid thinly-disguised racist crap about Obama, “not loving America” because Obama “wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up.” He said this to a conservative audience at an event for scary Republican upcomer Scott Walker. Later, when questioned about it, damned if Giuliani didn’t double down with the absurd claim that his comments about the president just can’t be racist because Obama had a white mother.

Cue the pinwheel hat.

“Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people,” Giuliani said in the interview. “This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”

Nope, not a shred of racism there. Just like there are no racial undertones  in Donald Trump’s ongoing insistence on seeing Obama’s birth certificate and questioning if Obama really went to Harvard. The weird insertion of the word “love” in Giuliani's speech produced the definitive takedown of the lovely ex-mayor by investigative reporter and Giuliani biographer Wayne Barrett. 

Occasionally, even an unreconstructed old fool can wander inadvertently into the wilderness of truth. Giuliani just might have been right when he told the crowd that Obama “doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Ax-Wielding Hair Designer Burns Down Michigan Adult Store to Please God

February 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Scott Kaufman, Raw Story

“Clearly this was not god’s work, this was the heinous actions of a very disturbed person who had nothing but destruction on their mind.”


A “hair designer” in Kalamazoo, Michigan was arrested after police identified him as the ax-wielding man witnesses saw fleeing from an adult store that had been set on fire, WOOD’s Ken Kolker reports.

According to police, late Wednesday afternoon Mitchell Hapner set fire to the Hollywood Nights shop. Witnesses told police that they had seen a man leaving the scene carrying an ax, and authorities quickly determined that the suspect was Hapner. 

When they attempted to question him, Hapner led police on a brief car chase before crashing his vehicle.

The owners of Hollywood Nights set up GoFundMe pageto help recoup their losses, which were apparently total. 

“Hollywood Nights was maliciously targeted and unfortunately burnt to the ground by a confused individual who thought he was doing god’s work,” the statement on the GoFundMe page reads.

“Clearly this was not god’s work, this was the heinous actions of a very disturbed person who had nothing but destruction on their mind. This confused person never knew our family and we never knew him. He believed he was serving as god on a mission to not only destroy the business but to harm any employees and customers in the building.”

The owners claim that the only reason no one was injured in the fire was that the store was closed “for weather related reasons.” 

Their losses were not only monetary, however. “We lost irreplaceable things,” the owners wrote. 

“This is only some of it but to list a few items my family will never cherish again includes; our children’s precious art work/drawings/school pictures that decorated our private office to remind us why we work so hard, sentimental gifts, countless pictures and family home videos stored in filing cabinets and computers.”

Hapner is due back in court today to be formally charged.

 

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Florida Tribe Threatens Rick Scott: Let Us Build A Casino Or We Start Growing Pot

February 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Scott Kaufman, Raw Story

If the state rejects the deal, the tribe is within its rights to sue to use the land to grow marijuana


An Alabama native American tribe that operates casinos in Florida informed the state that if it doesn’t allow them to expand their casinos, they will have no choice but to start growing marijuana on the land designated for the expansion, the Associated Press reports.

The Poarch Creek Band of native Americans told Florida Governor Rick Scott that if the state’s Republican-controlled House and Senate refused to allow the tribe to operate a casino on land it owns in Escambia County, it would endeavor to grow and distribute marijuana on the land in accordance with the regulations that the federal government has imposed on states that have legalized the trade. 

The chairwoman of the Poarch tribal council, Stephanie Bryan, told the Associated Press that the tribe is “entitled to negotiate a compact with the state.” 

If the state rejects the deal, the tribe is within its rights to sue to use the land to grow marijuana, as this past December the Department of Justice stated that tribes can grow and distribute marijuana on their sovereign land — even if the state in which that land is situated has not legalized marijuana.

Many tribes have resisted selling marijuana because, as the director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, Kevin Sabet, told the Los Angeles Times, “native Americans and their families suffer disproportionately from addiction compared to other groups. The last thing they want is another commercialized industry that targets them for greater use.”

 

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Bill O’Reilly’s Masculinity Problem: Why Anchormen Make Up Lies and Pretend They Are Heroes

February 21, 2015 in Blogs

By Rhonda Garelick, Salon.com

The current controversies are more complex than some think


Close on the heels of the Brian Williams saga comes today’s allegation that Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly may also have misled the public, claiming to have risked life and limb reporting from the Falkland Islands during the war there, when in fact he’d been comfortably stationed 1,200 miles away in Buenos Aires—and after the war’s end. Yet as the articles about O’Reilly multiply, as in the case of Williams, the most important ramification of these stories is being entirely overlooked. Let’s step back and consider the kind of stories these men recounted and what these anecdotes reveal about journalism and about us, the audience.

 

Williams and O’Reilly told war stories. Williams spoke of accompanying elite military troops, getting shot down by enemy fire, and helping land a helicopter in dangerous territory. He even claimed to have received an imposing combat knife, a ‘throat cutter,’ from a member of Seal Team Six, the unit that killed Osama Bin Laden—which he jokingly professes to use now to intimidate colleagues at NBC meetings.

War stories are guarantors of masculinity and power. By telling them—true or embellished—Williams and O’Reilly were attempting to ally themselves with those attributes, to put themselves in league with heroes. Williams’ story even includes flashing a deadly military weapon—that ‘throat cutter’—at studio meetings, transforming his tame, workaday world (metaphorically) into a battle zone.

Why did they do this? What would lead an anchorman to burnish his reputation with such stories? What have über-masculine war heroes to do with anchormen? Plenty.

An “anchorman” is not just a journalist. He is, as the word implies, something weighty, grounding, central, and yes faintly military, or more precisely, naval. Those qualities also connote masculinity—witness the fact that “anchorwoman” is not a word we often use. When a woman exercises this profession, we usually omit the suffix, and say that Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer are simply “anchors.”  This is because “anchorwoman” sounds odd to our ears, even oxymoronic.  Femininity is traditionally understood as lightness to masculine stability, the ballerina leaping into her male partner’s secure arms. Women’s presence, alas, does not seem to …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Washington's Foolish Foreign Policy: American People Must Say No to More Wars

February 21, 2015 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

American foreign policy is controlled by fools. What else can one conclude from the bipartisan demand that the U.S. intervene everywhere all the time, irrespective of consequence? No matter how disastrous the outcome, the War Lobby insists that the idea was sound. Any problems obviously result from execution, a matter of doing too little: too few troops engaged, too few foreigners killed, too few nations bombed, too few societies transformed, too few countries occupied, too few years involved, too few dollars spent.

As new conflicts rage across the Middle East, the interventionist caucus’ dismal record has become increasingly embarrassing. Yet such shameless advocates of perpetual war as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham continue to press for military intervention irrespective of country and circumstance. For instance, they led the Neoconservative mob clamoring for war against Libya less than two years after supping with Moammar Khadafy in Tripoli, when they discussed providing U.S. aid to reward his anti-terrorism efforts.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, another cheerleader for war in Libya, recently defended her actions after being chided on Twitter for being a war-monger. She had authored a celebratory Financial Times article entitled “Why Libya sceptics were proved badly wrong.”

American foreign policy is a bipartisan failure.”

Even then intervention looked foolish since Libya was a conflict in which Americans had nothing at stake. Today, however, Washington’s Mediterranean adventure looks a good deal less successful. But this experience has had no apparent impact on her support for promiscuously bombing, invading, and occupying other countries.

Slightly more abashed, perhaps, is Samantha Power, one of the Obama administration’s chief Sirens of War. She recently pleaded with the public not to let constant failure get in the way of future wars: “I think there is too much of, ‘Oh, look, this is what intervention has wrought’ … one has to be careful about overdrawing lessons.” After all, just because the policy of constant war had been a constant bust, people shouldn’t be more skeptical about a military “solution” for future international problems. What are a few bloody geopolitical catastrophes among friends?

President Barack Obama also appears to be a bit embarrassed by his behavior. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been as active militarily as his much-maligned predecessor. The former increased real military outlays through most of his administration, twice hiked troop levels in Afghanistan, initiated intense drone campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen, joined war against Libya, planned to attack …read more

Source: OP-EDS